written by Debra Pickman April 2008
Like anyone else, there are certain things I feel very strongly about. One of those things is giving due credit where credit is due. Another is that I detest those people and groups who don’t want to do the work themselves or put forth the effort that is required but want credit and exposure for the high profile ties they may be linked to.
To be honest, I rarely get on a soapbox, and rant about things because I hold the belief, and live by the saying, live and let live. I don’t think I or anyone else is in a position to mandate how others should run their lives or make decisions, and everyone has their own opinions and influences when it comes to deciding what is right, proper and respectful.
But when it comes to stealing what belongs to others, there is no reason to remain mute and not speak about the infringement so others can be made aware of certain business practices and/or the integrality of a group or individual of which they should be warned against.
When it comes to taking someone’s work only to change it a little and rename it as your own, it is, anyway you look at it, thievery and plagiarism.
Ok, so let me tell you how I came to be on this rant.
A few weeks ago it was brought to my attention that a photo similar to the one we had posted in our gallery back on November 4th, 2007, was seemingly posted by KPG and on their website with a different investigation date on it. This forum member was needing clarification and questioning which date was correct.
Although outward appearances may suggest that KPG is still a working part of this website, details of the past and current relationships between KPG and this website may be integral to understanding the remainder of this article. I will, however, leave that up to the individual reader. If desired, the details can be found here.
With the above said, I followed the link given to me by our forum member and found that the photo was very similar. Not wanting to jump to conclusions, Renae and I discussed it and decided to post the information in our forum for member feedback.
We knew the photo was taken from either our investigation files or our photo gallery. We knew it was an exact copy that had been cropped and tagged with KPG’s tag.
We posted the link to their Coppermine photo in our forum thread asking, “Validation or Not?”. We also posted our original for comparison. It was thought that if we brought it to their attention, that we knew what they had done with our photo, they would quietly withdraw it from their site and the matter would be dropped.
Instead, the next day they added to the description of the photo, the name of the person who supposedly took the photo. Additionally, they named yet another person who was supposedly in the room when the photo was taken (all of which ultimately puts these other people in a compromising position of backing up their lie). This is not the first time members of this group have taken the work of others, manipulated it and then laid claim to it.
Taking the work of others, claiming the ownership of others evidence is not only illegal, but it is disgraceful, underhanded and despicable. This sort of action displays the lowest form of integrity and certainly generates an extremely low level of honesty and trustworthiness for this group. It really makes you wonder about and question their professionalism.
And as I have stated elsewhere on the site, these actions WILL NOT be tolerated by this website or it owners. I don’t care if it’s a photo, EVP or an experience. I don’t care if it is a piece of evidence from an experienced investigator, a newbie, an owner of the site, a member, or simply a visitor. Credit will always be given to those who own it, deserve it, worked for it, made it, created it, shared it etc.
Let it be known, as if it wasn’t stated throughout this website enough already, taking anything off this site without prior authorization WILL NOT be tolerated.
Additionally, we know that one of the KPG members views our forum daily. Not only have they read the posts suggesting their indiscretion (and we know this from viewing their comments on other boards and through the changes they have made to their photo gallery page), they offer no communication to resolve this issue or validate their claim. If it were me, I would surely have tried to validate my claim and save the name of my group from being dragged into the mud.
Let it also be known that this photo is still on the original memory stick of Renae’s, and is only one of a series of many shots that were taken within the time period before during and after the photo in question. As with all cameras, it is assigned a distinctive numerical data tag by the camera which notes the camera model, the date, time, photo size and format?
In closing, I repeat the above statement. Anyone who infringes upon the legal rights of ownership of any material or evidence on this website will be dealt with accordingly and made an example of as follows.
Below you will find our original photo which had been uploaded into our evidence gallery on November 4th, 2007,the KPG’s photo tagged with their name and an investigation date of November 18, 2007, and our original photo cropped an lighted up to show the similarities.
This is the original Photo taken by Tony Pickman on August 18, 2007
with Renae Leiker’s camera. It was posted in the
Sallie House Photo Gallery on November 4th, 2007.
zoom 2x zoom 1x
The photo on the left is obviously tagged as belonging to KPG, and is posted in their photo gallery with the following details
The photo on the right is obviously a brightened and zoomed portion of our original photo, similar to how KPG altered our photo before posting it on their website.
A few points to take note of:
- the horizontal images are in the exact placement on both photos
- the small sort of ball of light reflection on the right side of the window frame is in the exact same place
- the small spot of light/illumination on the right hand side of the photo and under one of the last horizontal bars is in the exact same place on ours and theirs.
- the position of the images are exactly the same which means they would have had to of been in the exact same spot to catch the exact same image of something we captured almost four months earlier.
Now, you be the judge: there are four possibilities. Did we take the photo from them before their November investigation, removed their tag(without leaving a tell tale sign), posted it in our evidence gallery and claimed it for our own? Did both groups get the exact same photo on two different cameras 4 months apart? Did some supernatural force mysteriously put our photo on Jerry’s camera? Or did KPG take our evidence crop, tag and claim it as their own?